ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – As volunteers work to nurse an injured osprey back to health, Florida wildlife authorities are trying to figure out who shot the bird with a BB gun.
Officials said a passerby spotted the bird of prey in bad shape Saturday evening on the side of the road across from the Fountain of Youth attraction in St. Augustine.
He couldn’t fly and was hanging his head down.
An X-ray at St. Augustine Regional Veterinary Emergency Clinic showed he had two BBs lodged in his head.
Karen Ward-Lynch and Thaida Bonner with The Ark Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation are caring for the osprey, which they believe to be about a year old.
"You wonder why anyone would shoot anything like this," Ward-Lynch said.
Ward-Lynch said it's rare to see a bird injured in that way.
"There's no reason," she said.
Ward-Lynch and her team say the bird is a fighter. They have been treating him with antibiotics and pain medication as he heals.
"He’s made it through these last couple of days," Ward-Lynch said. "I can’t believe with the shot in the head that he can be doing this well."
They'll be taking him to BEAKS Bird Rescue on Little Talbot Island in Jacksonville, where he'll be treated by a vet and hopefully recover.
Ospreys are protected by state and federal laws, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating to learn who shot the bird.